Book Review: Candide by Voltaire

Comedic. Sarcastic. Dark. What is not to love about the classic novella by Voltaire? It integrates comedy with a whole lot of skepticism, and mocking of the wealthy…quite a unique take indeed! 

The story of Candide follows Candide himself, the main protagonist, who resides in his comfortable abode in Germany. The Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh owns the property which Candide resides in, along with the Barons daughter Cunégonde and the philosopher, Pangloss.

The Baron, catches him kissing his daughter and subsequently kicks Candide out of his home. Almost immediately, Candide is forced to enlist in the army, yet returns home to find that it was invaded by the enemy, and his beloved Cunégonde was killed in the aftermath. However, luckily for Candide as he travels to other parts of the Europe, he encounters people who help him navigate his life once more… 

After finding out that his precious Cunégonde is alive, Candide sets out on a series of endeavors in order to find her. He encounters people of all faiths, backgrounds, nationalities, and demeanors.

All of these help Candide oppose the idea constantly reinstated by Pangloss, the all-knowing philosopher, that “all is for the best”. However, contrary to his belief in his teacher, Candide begins to form his own perception of the world around him and towards the end of the book realizes that all is not for the best. 

The novella is extremely fast-paced. It is good for individuals who like a quick, fast read. I loved it because I was never bored, and the story was always straight to the point. Voltaire does a good job at employing sarcastic bits here and there and constantly uses Candide and Pangloss to mock the status quo present during his time.

-Haana F.

Candide by Voltaire is available for checkout at the Mission Viejo Library.

Music History 101: Harry Styles

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 18: Harry Styles attends the “DUNKIRK” premiere in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Harry Styles. That’s it. That’s the article. 

You may be wondering how this international heartthrob became so famous, so much so that the mere mention of his name gets everyone talking. Well, let’s take a step back in time and examine all his success, his failures: his history. 

Styles was born on February 1st, 1994 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England. As a young adult, he formed his own boy band called White Eskimos, where they won best band at their school. His childhood consisted of working at his local bakery, attending school like the average U.K. teen, and spending holidays with his family. 

At just sixteen years old, he took the stage for the first time as a contestant on the widely popular British show, The X Factor. He auditioned using the all too famous, “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. Unfortunately for Harry, he didn’t make it to the second round as a solo artist, but fate had other plans for him. Simon Cowell, one of the judges on the show, was astonished by his performance, and instead put Harry into a group, a boy band for that matter, with four other contestants who also auditioned as solos. These contestants were Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne. 

One Direction, as they were soon to be known as, became one of the most successful and influential bands of the decade. Their hits included, but are not limited to “What Makes you Beautiful,” “Story of My Life” and “Drag Me Down”. The group went on a hiatus in late 2016, and ever since then, the ex-bandmates have been focusing on their solo careers. 

Styles, with only two albums released, has had hits of all kinds. His music genre speaks for itself: a hint of 70s with a hue of rock. Individually, he is known for singles such as “Sign of the Times” and most recently “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore you”. 

Just last week, the global sensation snatched his first win at the Grammys. “Watermelon Sugar” won best pop solo performance at the award show. Barely ten minutes before that, he opened up the show, with a dazzling and impressive performance of, you guessed it, Watermelon Sugar. 

At the award show Styles decked out in all Gucci. His black leather jacket and pants complimented his green boa, that sure made a great deal of his fans go crazy. 

#ProudOfHarry was trending all night, and so was his performance. Who knows, maybe this’ll kick start the beginning of a new era: one filled with green boa’s and sweet, tasty watermelons.

-Haana F.